IELTS score for UK nurses 2022: All You Need To Know

Jul 29, 2023 | IELTS

IELTS score for UK nurses 2022

IELTS Score For UK Nurses 2022

  • The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) accepts an IELTS Academic examination certificate that verifies a minimum overall score of 7.
  • To meet the minimum requirements for the IELTS exam, a candidate must achieve a band score of at least 6.5 in the Writing section and at least 7 in the Reading, Listening, and Speaking sections.
  • They accept both paper-based and computer-based versions of the IELTS Academic test. Please note that the IELTS indicator test is not accepted by the NMC.
  • This is because the security measures for the indicator test are not considered comparable to those in place for the face-to-face test, and therefore do not meet the registration standards.
  • In recent years, the United Kingdom has witnessed a growing demand for skilled healthcare professionals as their aged population is increasing, particularly nurses.
  • To ensure the proficiency of non-native English-speaking nurses, the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) score has become a crucial component of the registration process. This article aims to provide a comprehensive guide on the IELTS score requirements for nurses aspiring to work in the UK.

Understanding the IELTS Exam

IELTS is an internationally recognized English language proficiency test designed to assess candidates’ abilities in reading, writing, listening, and speaking. It evaluates the individual’s communication skills in an English-speaking environment, which is vital for healthcare professionals working in diverse patient care settings.

IELTS Score Requirements for UK Nurses

The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC), the regulatory body responsible for nursing registration in the UK, has set specific IELTS score requirements for nurses. As of the publication date, the following scores are typically required:

IELTS Academic Module

Overall Band Score: Minimum of 7

Writing: Minimum of 6.5

Reading, Listening, and Speaking: Minimum of 7

These scores reflect the NMC’s emphasis on ensuring that nurses possess sufficient language proficiency to communicate effectively with patients, colleagues, and other healthcare professionals.

Other Considerations

It’s important to note that the IELTS Academic module is required for nurses seeking registration with the NMC. The General Training module, typically used for immigration or other purposes, is not accepted.

Additionally, both the paper-based and computer-based versions of the IELTS Academic test are accepted by the NMC. This flexibility allows candidates to choose the format that suits them best.

Exemption Criteria

While the majority of nurses need to meet the IELTS score requirements, certain individuals may be exempt based on their qualifications or country of origin. Nurses from countries recognized as majority English-speaking may be exempt from the IELTS requirement, but they should confirm this with the NMC.


As the demand for qualified nurses continues to rise in the UK, meeting the IELTS score requirements has become an essential step in the registration process for non-native English-speaking nurses. By ensuring effective communication skills, the NMC aims to maintain high standards of patient care and safety. 

Nurses aspiring to work in the UK should thoroughly prepare for the IELTS Academic module to meet the required scores and embark on a successful nursing career in the UK.

The NMC will also accept an OET examination certificate that confirms you have achieved at least a grade C+ in the writing section, and at least a grade B in the reading, listening and speaking sections.